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Oregon State Parks

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Mayer State Park
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f you need an open invitation to go explore a peaceful tree-lined lake in the summertime, consider yourself invited. Go see lower Mayer State Park from the top of Rowena Crest and soak in a view of the most beautiful lake around. Both are actually within Mayer State Park, but few people know that.

From the top of Rowena, Mayer can be fully appreciated for its many amenities, including swimming, boating, fishing and picnicking. When the spring wildflowers are in bloom, this is one of the most stunning vistas in the Columbia River Gorge. The timing of the bloom varies, but is normally in March/April.
History of the Area
Located in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, this natural haven was established as a state park by Oregon's government in 1935. The land for the park was donated to the State of Oregon by William and Irene Mayer with an intention to preserve its beauty and provide recreational opportunities.

The area is named after Mark A. Mayer, who served as mayor of nearby Hood River from 1921-24 before becoming governor of Oregon (1930-34). His family had been prominent pioneers during early settlement days along what would become known as "Mayer Row."

In addition to being used recreationally since its inception, it has also played host to several historical events over time including Native American fishing rights protests during late '60s & early '70s which led directly towards affirmation of tribal treaty rights via Boldt Decision in Washington State Supreme Court.

Over years there have been various improvements made within boundaries such as picnic areas development or boat ramp construction but overall emphasis remains on preserving unique environment that makes up one part out many comprising larger National Scenic Area designation given entire gorge region back mid-'80s under federal law passed Congress signed then President Ronald Reagan.

Today visitors can enjoy variety activities ranging hiking trails offering stunning views across river valley below through bird watching where numerous species make their home here due diverse habitats found throughout site plus water-based pursuits like swimming boating thanks access provided onto mighty Columbia itself all while surrounded breathtaking landscape steeped both cultural significance rich biodiversity making truly special place visit explore appreciate nature at finest whether local resident passing tourist alike!

1. Rowena Plateau Trail: This is a 2-mile round trip trail that offers stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge and wildflower displays in spring.

2. Tom McCall Point Hike: A moderate, uphill hike spanning about 5 miles with panoramic vistas at the top overlooking Mount Hood and Adams.

3. Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail - Mosier Twin Tunnels Section: An easy to moderate paved path stretching for around five miles offering scenic river views along its course.

4. Memaloose Hills Loop Hike: Approximately four mile loop featuring beautiful fields of balsamroot flowers during late April or early May; provides excellent view points over Eastern Gorge area as well as Mt Hood on clear days.

5. Starvation Creek Ridge Loop : It's an approximately six mile long strenuous hiking route which includes waterfalls like Cabin Creek Falls, Hole-in-the-Wall Falls etc., also providing great gorge viewpoints from Mitchell point summit.

6.Rowena Crest Viewpoint Trails : These are short trails leading off from parking lot towards different viewing platforms showcasing breathtaking scenes across eastern part of Columbia river gorge region including Deschutes valley & Klickitat canyon areas .

7.Wyeth Bench Road - Shellrock Mountain via Herman creek Pinnacles Route : Roughly ten-miles-long challenging trekking pathway through dense forested terrains reaching up to rocky pinnacles giving bird's eye perspective onto surrounding landscapes .

8.Viento Bluff Trial- Short half-a-mile walkway suitable even for families having small kids , winds gently upwards till bluff edge presenting lovely sightlines down into Viento state park campground plus nearby I-84 highway corridor .

9.Mitchell Spur Path- Another brief yet steep climbing track branching out midway while ascending starvation ridge ; leads hikers directly upto exposed spur crest where they can enjoy unobstructed panoramas encompassing both western & eastern gorge sections .

10. Gorton Creek Trail: A challenging 9-mile loop trail that takes you through lush forests, past several waterfalls and offers stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge.

11.Herman Bridge Trail : This is a moderate to difficult six mile round trip hike which includes crossing Herman creek bridge & passing by multiple cascades before culminating at Pacific crest trail junction point .

12.Rainy Lake Loop - An easy one-mile walk around Rainy lake with opportunities for bird watching and fishing.

13.Wauna Viewpoint Hike - Approximately three miles long uphill trek leading upto Wauna viewpoint from where hikers can get sweeping vistas over entire river valley below including Bonneville dam facility in distance .

14.Eagle Creek Overlook Group Campground Trails- These are short interconnected pathways crisscrossing across campground area , perfect for leisurely strolls or morning jogs while staying overnight here during camping trips .

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Mayer State Park is located in Oregon and can be easily accessed by following these directions:

1. Start your journey from the city of Portland, Oregon.
2. Take I-5 South towards Salem for approximately 45 miles.
3. Continue on I-5 until you reach Exit 253 toward OR-22 East/Detroit Lake/Bend/Salem Parkway.
4. Merge onto OR-22 E/Center St NE via the ramp to Detroit Lake/Bend/Salem Parkway and continue driving for about 20 miles.

Please note that there may be tolls along this route, so make sure to have some cash or a compatible electronic pass with you.

5. After passing through Stayton, turn right onto Fern Ridge Rd SE (signs for Mehama/Marion Forks).
6. Follow Fern Ridge Rd SE as it winds its way through scenic landscapes for around 10 miles until you reach Little North Santiam Road SE; take a left here.
7.Continue straight on Little North Santiam Road SE while enjoying picturesque views of forests and mountains ahead.

8.After roughly six more miles, Mayer State Park will appear on your left-hand side at an intersection with Elkhorn Valley Street S.E., just before reaching Mill City.

Remember to check park hours beforehand if planning activities within Mayer State Park! Enjoy exploring nature's beauty once you arrive at this stunning destination in Oregon!

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Oregon State Parks